21 March 2013
Teachers to vote on engagement with controversial Government education proposals
Primary teachers will soon vote on a set of principles to determine whether their representatives will continue to be involved in the working group for the Government’s $359 million plan to fund highly paid new roles for some principals and teachers.
Paid union meetings at 4pm in schools around the country begin on Monday (March 24) until April 4th.
The “Investing in Educational Success” (IES) policy has been controversial with teachers and principals. A survey of NZEI members found many believe such a large amount of new money could be better spent on initiatives that directly help students, particularly the 1 in 4 Kiwi children growing up in poverty who face additional challenges to their learning.
NZEI President Judith Nowotarski said it was now timely to put it to a vote at paid union meetings.
The NZEI National Executive has asked primary teacher members to vote on a set of principles relating to the IES initiative that include:
• Ensuring there is sound evidence that the new roles will actually directly benefit children's learning.
• The need for a transparent and collaborative process with the teaching profession in the design of any new initiative.
• Rejecting invalid National Standards data as the basis for determining eligibility or criteria for any new roles or resourcing.
• Any new roles must be implemented through the collective agreement process and be subject to support by members.
Ms Nowotarski said if these principles and a number of related commitments sought from government were accepted by members, they would then shape NZEI's continued involvement or withdrawal from the working group and any further action by the membership.
“Teachers want the best possible outcomes for their students and they have long been asking for career pathways to keep great teachers in the classroom. However, this policy has not been developed in consultation with the teaching profession and we have many concerns about its effectiveness. We need to hear from our members about how they want to proceed,” she said.